For almost 30 years, renowned photographer Tom Murrays images from the Beatles last group publicity shoot were stored in the back of a drawer. And now for the first time ever, these rarely seen images will be available for public purchase on an international art site. Rock Paper Photo
, which launches this week in New York, will be the most comprehensive online gallery of pop culture fine art photography.
Founded by Guy Oseary (Madonnas manager) and with investment from Live Nation, the site deals exclusively in largely unpublished hand signed limited edition images.
Why Tom? Why These Photos? Here are some of the facts:
· Tom Murray is a world-renowned photographer, having worked alongside some of the biggest names in fashion, music, art and even Royalty. His subjects include Elizabeth Taylor, Dustin Hoffman, HRH Princess Margaret, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren (just to name a few).
· He was the youngest photographer to ever be commissioned by the Royal Family
· Tom had no idea that he would be shooting the Beatles on that legendary summer day in 1968. All he knew was that he was attending a publicity shoot for an unnamed rock and roll group.
· The collection of photos from Toms impromptu and iconic shoot with the Beatles is known as The Mad Day: Summer of 68
· Consisting of the 23 best images taken during the shoot, each picture provides an intimate look at the Beatles and their individual personalities.
· These images have been hailed by the media as some of the best photographs ever taken of the Beatles and have helped to raise over 6 million dollars for charities worldwide.
· Tom was the first person to capture the death of John Lennon
12 years before it happened! At one point during the shoot, John Lennon spontaneously dropped to the ground and decided to play dead. The whole incident was over in seconds, yet somehow captured by Tom. Years later, when Lennon was shot, Time Magazine considered this photo for its cover, yet ultimately deemed it too spooky.
· All 23 images from the Mad Day series will be available for purchase on Rock Paper Photo. These signed and limited edition prints come in a 20 x 24 inch size and/or a 30 x 40 inch size.
Tom Murray is an award-winning photographer whose work spans portraiture, theater, fashion, advertising, newspapers and magazines. He perfected his craft working for newspapers, becoming the head of photography for The Sunday Times Colour Magazine, Londons first Sunday magazine. He then worked alongside master photographers Helmut Newton and Lord Snowdon. At 25, he received a commission from the Royal Family, becoming the youngest person to receive this honor, and has since immortalized subjects such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelica Huston, Dustin Hoffman, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
In the summer of 1968, Mr. Murray was invited to a publicity photo shoot for a popular rock and roll group by a fellow photographer. As it turned out, the band that they were shooting was The Beatles.
From two rolls of film, Mr. Murray kept 23 negatives which are considered the most important color photographs of the group from that period of their career. The impromptu shoot took Tom and the band on a mad dash around London; the collection of photographs has become known as The Mad Day: Summer Of 68.
His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world and has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers like GQ, Vogue, The New York Times, and The London Times.
Tom is a dedicated fund-raiser who now devotes much of his time to charities around the world and in his own community where he regularly donates to a local association for the blind. He began in 1969 when he photographed HRH Princess Margaret and chose to donate a portion of those earnings to her favorite charities. Since then, he has been involved with the Make a Wish Foundation (In the US, UK and Sweden), Project Angel Food, Friends in Need and the Caron Foundation, personally helping to raise over 2 million dollars. Through auctioning his prints for charities or donating them outright, he has raised an additional 6 million. Realizing the importance of local charities, wherever his work is exhibited, he generously donates a photographic print to a charity of the gallerys choice.
A three time World Press Photo award winner, Tom has received numerous international awards for his work on newspaper and magazine assignments, theatre and advertising commissions as well as specialist portrait commissions in Europe, Africa and The United States of America.